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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1989 Jan;86(2):695-8.

Multidrug-resistance gene (P-glycoprotein) is expressed by endothelial cells at blood-brain barrier sites.

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  • 1Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY 10021.


Endothelial cells of human capillary blood vessels at the blood-brain and other blood-tissue barrier sites express P-glycoprotein as detected by mouse monoclonal antibodies against the human multidrug-resistance gene product. This pattern of endothelial cell expression may indicate a physiological role for P-glycoprotein in regulating the entry of certain molecules into the central nervous system and other anatomic compartments, such as the testes. These tissues, which limit the access of systemic drugs, are known pharmacologic sanctuaries for metastatic cancer. P-glycoprotein expression in capillary endothelium of brain and testes and not other tissues (i.e., kidney and placenta) may in part explain this phenomenon and could have important implications in cancer chemotherapy.

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